NIN-SIM linkage: NIMC, NCC collaborate to smoothen process for Nigerians

David Afolayan
NIN-SIM Linkage: Telcos to bar outgoing calls on unlinked lines from today

Nigeria’s identity management agent, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and its counterpart telecoms regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) have announced a strategic collaboration that will ease the National Identification Number (NIN-SIM) linkage processes for telecoms subscribers across the country.

This was made known in a joint statement by both agencies signed by the Technical Adviser, Media, and Communications to the DG/CEO of NIMC, Ayodele Babalola, and the Director of Public Affairs of NCC, Reuben Muoka.

According to the statement, the NIN-SIM linkage exercise has become the subject of national discourse, in recent times. This reflects the urgency of SIM registrations with individuals’ unique national identification numbers in line with regulatory requirements. Both agencies indicate their commitment to improving the processes and enhancing efficiency in recognition of the significance of the initiative in enhancing security and improving service delivery.

Similar: NIN-SIM Linkage: Telcos to bar outgoing calls on 73m unlinked lines today

NIMC NIN server glitch

As part of this collaboration, NIMC and NCC will work closely to explore synergies and leverage each other’s expertise and resources in 4 basic areas:

⁠Streamlining the NIN-SIM Linkage Process: NIMC and NCC will collaborate to ensure a seamless experience for Nigerian telecommunication subscribers. This includes exploring innovative approaches to facilitate the swift verification and authentication of NINs during SIM registration and activation process.

Capacity Building and Public Awareness: Both agencies will collaborate on initiatives that will enhance public awareness and understanding of the NIN-SIM linkage requirements. This includes educational campaigns, training sessions for stakeholders and tim dissemination of accurate information to the public to encourage compliance with the linkage directives.

Data Verification and Validation: NIMC will continue to extend its support to NCC by assisting in verifying National Identification Numbers (NINs) associated with SIM registrations. Leveraging NIMC’s robust database and authentication infrastructure, telecommunication operators will validate submitted NINs while ensuring the accuracy and integrity of subscriber data.

Policy Harmonisation and Regulatory Framework: NIMC and NCC will collaborate on aligning policies and regulatory frameworks to facilitate the seamless integration of NIN-SIM linkage processes within the telecommunications ecosystem. This includes harmonising data protection and privacy regulations to safeguard the confidentiality and security of subscriber information.

NIN-SIM linkage: A bit of background

The NIN-SIM linkage policy was first announced by the government of Nigeria  in December 2020. The directive mandates every telephone line user in Nigeria to link their SIM with the National Identification Number (NIN).

According to a directive issued by the NCC in December last year, all telecommunications operators in Nigeria, including MTN, Airtel, and Globacom, among others are to implement full network barring on all phone lines for which the subscribers have not submitted their national identification numbers (NINs) by February 28, 2024.

NIN-SIM linkage: NCC says unlinked SIM cards will stay barred

This is coming after the Federal Government extended the deadline for the National Identity Number to Subscriber Identity Module (NIN-SIM) linking and data verification 8 times in over a year.

As it stands, those who have submitted their NINs but have not been verified will also be fully barred on or before 29 March 2024. Overall, five or more lines are linked to an unverified NIN. In the instance that less than five lines are linked to an unverified NIN, such lines are to be barred on or before 15 April 2024

Read also: Isa Pantami accuses security operatives of not utilising NIN-SIM database in crime-fighting

Last April, the NCC announced that over 125 million SIM card holders have had their NINs submitted for immediate linkage, verification and authentication. Also, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) announced it has issued over 78 Million unique NINs.

The enrolment for the NIN is a continuous exercise and NIN is a precondition for service in Telcos, banks, the Nigerian Immigration Service, and several other government services.

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